North Carolina’s ports and airports are integral to shaping the state’s overall competitiveness. As was expressed during our recent Transportation and Infrastructure Summit, these systems should not be considered as part of the transportation and infrastructure business but rather the economic development business. This is because North Carolina’s ports and airports connect people and business to the global economy, while also serving as major attractions to businesses weighing where to call home.
If you’re not convinced just look at the numbers – their total economic impact annually is astounding. North Carolina’s ports account for $707 million every year in state and local revenues, in addition to more than 76,000 jobs, while the state’s 72 publicly owned airports amass a $31 billion annual impact and generate 123,400 jobs. These economic engines are valuable assets in the global race for jobs, significantly impacting North Carolina’s economic success and competitive advantage. However, in order to continue harnessing these vital systems to solidify a strong economic future for all North Carolinians, we must support initiatives that provide them with the resources needed to operate and expand.
By 2030, North Carolina will become the seventh most populous state in the country, adding another two million residents. It is critical that we continue to improve our transportation and infrastructure systems as our state’s growth amplifies. North Carolina’s current and future economic development is dependent upon on these networks, which is why we must ensure our ports and airports are able to maintain safe and efficient operations that are ready to take on the rapid growth our state will experience in the coming years.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber